This Is What Parapet Walls Are And The Best Way To Maintain Them

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In this post, you can find out what parapet walls are. You can also discover how we maintain parapet walls from fixing them to painting them.

Have You Seen Our Roof?!

“Have I seen it recently?” asks Stephanie to make sure she was on the same page.

David nods. Stephanie shrugs in confusion. “Um, no?” David sighs. “Well, it looks like our parapet walls are really streaky looking. That means water’s getting in there and causing damage.”

Stephanie looks at him in horror. “Damage? Is our house going to fall or something?!” David chuckles. “No no, nothing like that. But, it’ll still need fixing, and the longer it goes on the worse and more expensive it’ll get.”

Stephanie pauses. “That’s bad. We need to fix whatever these parapet walls are, and fast.” David nods. “We definitely should’ve done a better job at maintaining our parapet walls. Maybe if they had the best paint sheen for house exteriors on them…”

David gets his phone out. “Here, let’s look up some information on maintaining them and stuff, see what we can find.”

What Are Parapet Walls

Parapet walls are extensions of walls at the edges of roofs, balconies, and other structures. They act as shorter barriers, usually somewhere around 3 feet tall. On roofs, they mostly act as guard rails. In some cases, they also help prevent the spreading of fires.

Why Parapet Walls Get Damaged So Quickly

They’re high up and get sun and bad weather like no other part of your house does. The surface can easily get to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This means the paint wears down on it the quickest.

How To Tell When Your Parapet Walls Are Damaged

If they look streaky your parapet walls have water damage. Rain and snow can soak through the paint. Here it’ll freeze and thaw over and over again. This causes tiny cracks to appear, looking like streaks. You may also find larger, more obvious cracks like in the video below:

How To Maintain Parapet Walls

  1. Wash the walls clean
  2. Repair any cracks or other damages
  3. Apply a waterproofer barrier
  4. Apply two coats of a satin finish paint

Washing the walls clean. This gets rid of dirt and any other stuff that would get between the waterproofer/paint and the wall. Paint sticks best to walls. If dirt and stuff are under there it’ll quickly peel. This just means you’ll be spending more time and money fixing it.

Repairing damages. Painting over damages is bad. It can make the damage stick out more and it’ll definitely make the paint peel faster. This means you’ll need to paint it again (i.e. spend more time and money).

Waterproofer. This keeps the water out of your walls even when the satin finish fails (as any paint eventually will). 

Satin finish. Satin is one of the better paint finishes for water resistance. It’ll last longer and look pretty good as it does.

How To Maintain Parapet Walls

“It’s almost like a one-stop-shop for information on parapet walls,” points out David. Stephanie nods. “You’re right. Makes me wonder what else we can find on house painting on this blog…”